IBADAN: a city swallowed in her own waste

Open waste disposal in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria
Open waste disposal in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria

By Jide Shittu

Over the years Ibadan has been dubbed an emerging economic hub in Nigeria.

With a vast population of about 3.5 million and still growing, little wonder the repeated clamour for the creation of Ibadan state. However, despite the diverse economic activities in the city, a note of worry is the rate at which the mammoth wastes being generated are growing at a geometric progression.

Though, they have been several efforts from the government to combat the issue of waste in the city, the problem appears to be beyond control. More so, the city pays for the mess with so many litters all around.

Recently, the government decided to adopt the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, but this development has suffered several setbacks as the waste keeps piling up in every available open spaces. With several illegal dumpsites all around, one would worry about the hygiene of the teeming population and also the impact on the environment.

Despite the fact that the PPP scheme adopted by the government has proved to be a viable approach, in ensuring environmental sustainability in most urban settlements, the result in Ibadan is still a far cry compared to other urban cities where it is practiced. A keen look at the terrain in the city, one will be able to deduce why the scheme had suffered several setbacks.

Ibadan residents are coming from a background where it is the government that takes sole responsibility of managing their wastes at no cost. Though the government still engages the services of private waste contractors, but the contractors are paid by the government to ensure sanity in the city in terms of waste management.

Due to the need of the government to cut down operational costs of governance, and also seeking means to increase the Internally Generated Revenue

Heap of refuse blocking the drainage at Odo-Ona in Apata area of ibadan, South West Nigeria (PHOTO: NAN)
Heap of refuse blocking the drainage at Odo-Ona in Apata area of ibadan, South West Nigeria (PHOTO: NAN)

(I.G.R) for the state as a whole, there is a need to engage in PPP on the issue of waste management, so as to ensure effectiveness and also earn the government a required income. But there lies a challenge, how can the government earn the cooperation of the populace?

This million dollar rhetoric, is actually the bane of contention. How can a people already used to a particular culture, unlearn the culture quickly and also embrace a new way of life or so to say?

There is no doubt that a city such as Ibadan requires a homegrown approach to ensure the scheme works.

The government should note that to ensure effectiveness and sustainability of this new approach, there is a need for proper sensitization of the populace. They should look for means to ensure the residents of the city, and the state at large see the bigger picture of a clean and sustainable environment.

Community leaders and Community Development Centers should also be adopted as a tool to ensure the message gets to the grassroots. There is also a problem of infrastructure such as accessible routes for the waste pick-up trucks, to ensure every nook and cranny of the city is combed.

Also an incentive-based approach should be imbibed by the private contractors to ensure participation of the residents.

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